ECON Committee Exchange of Views with National Parliaments

An exchange of views between Members from national Parliaments and Members of the European Parliament’s Committee for Economic and Monetary affairs (ECON) took place on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. The meeting brought together 12 Parliamentarians and 31 officials from national Parliaments of 19 Member States as well as 43 Members of the European Parliament.

Lively interparliamentary debate on the European Semester and its impact on national economies ©EU-EP

The discussion focused on the implementation of the 2019 European Semester priorities, as well as on the priorities for the 2020 Annual Growth Survey, which will be the basis for next year's Economic Semester. The meeting allowed expressing the opinions and positions of the correspondent committees from national Parliaments on the Country-Specific Recommendations and on the draft European Parliament's report on the economic policies of the euro area.

The lively debate chaired by Mr. Niedermayer, Vice-Chair of the ECON committee, allowed the participants to share their concerns and ideas about the European Semester exercise and its impact on the national economies. The speakers highlighted the importance of the European Semester as a tool to coordinate the economic policies and its coherent approach in setting the priorities at European and national levels. Some Parliamentarians acknowledged the importance of the European Pillar of Social Rights and climate change in the field of economic governance. Taxation policy and more private investment were mentioned as possible factors to help boost economic growth.

In his closing remarks, the Chair thanked the colleagues from the Member States for the fruitful cooperation. Many competences in the field of economic policy are in the hands of the national Parliaments. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to all the legislative work of the European Parliament to know the reality from the national ground.

The debate will continue next week (29/09-1/10) in Helsinki during the bi-annual Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union (Art.13 Conference).

Lively interparliamentary debate on EU-UK relations after Brexit, the future of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy

© European Union 2019 – EP/photographer Benoit BOURGEOIS

In keeping with its tradition of hosting colleagues from national Parliaments, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)invited Members of EU national Parliaments to attend a half-day long interparliamentary committee meeting (ICM) on 2 April 2019 in the morning at the European Parliament in Brussels. The meeting was very well attended with 41MEPs and 25 MPs from 19 national Parliaments from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland (both Chambers), Portugal, Romania (both Chambers), Slovenia, Spain and the UK.

The meeting, which was the last AFET ICM in this legislature, focussed on three important aspect of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP):

Following the opening remarks of Mr David McAllister, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, an exchange of views was held on the future of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) including a debate on the last AFET annual report on the CFSP. The main items discussed were the challenges the EU faces nowadays, the positions of Members States towards qualified majority voting in the Council on CFSP and the EU's need to focus on displaying a stronger leadership in terms of foreign security policy. Moreover, the interventions also focused on topics as how illegal immigration affects the different EU Member States, the importance of keeping the UK close to CFSP in the future and on the EU-NATO cooperation.

The second panel of the ICM was organized on the EU's future relations with the UK after Brexit, with the participation of EU Chief Negotiator, Mr Michel Barnier. He stated: "I trust we can complete these Brexit negotiations in a positive way, in order for the EU to square up to the numerous challenges that are becoming even more serious for us: climate change, the economy, technological warfare, migration and European defence."

In the third panel the way forward for the European Neighbourhood Policy(ENP) and Enlargement Policy was debated with European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Johannes Hahn. The main topic discussed were the EU accession of the Western Balkans in order to export stability and foster reforms. The Commissioner also emphasised the importance of the existence of rule of law at both international and national level.

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